On April 8th, before a joint session of the state legislature, Jindal acknowledged the death of his plan to eliminate state income and corporate taxes and replace them with higher state sales taxes which taxes a broad range of services not currently subject to sales tax. He said that he wasn’t taking his ball and going home, which to be honest, sounds exactly like what someone who was about to pout like mad would say.
However, the bad tax policy in Louisiana didn’t die alongside Jindal’s tax plan (and presidential ambitions). Rather the bad policy persists through a number of bills to eliminate the state income tax with absolutely no revenue replacement. At least Jindal’s horrible plan pretended to be revenue neutral. The various bills that Jindal spoke with favorability about during his speech haven’t even put forth the effort to look like they won’t drastically cut state revenue.
What happens if one of these bills passes? Our already incredibly under-funded state becomes even more so. As a state, we are already facing cuts to education and drastic closures of state hospitals. The sorts of cuts we could face with that sort of revenue loss would make our state sink to the bottom of a multitude of lists of states on quality of life, health care, education, public services, services for the elderly and poor, roads, etc.
A friend pointed out that a bill like this passing could easily mean the death of the TOPS program (which provides scholarships to public universities in Louisiana to encourage our high school students both to go to college and to stay in state to do it- and which has benefited the states higher education rates) due to lack of funding.
I shudder to think of what other vitally important programs could face their end because of this bad tax policy and drastic revenue loss.